Cultural depictions of Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher in the arts and popular culture was mostly seen as a hate-filled, miserly figure, who attracted musical opprobrium like no other British political leader. This is divergent from mainstream opinion polling which tends to place her as the most revered postwar prime minister. Favourable depictions make up a small group and among these is the Oscar-winning 2011 film Iron Lady.
This page is a list of depictions of Margaret Thatcher on stage, in film, TV, radio, literature, music and in other forms of the arts and entertainment.
- The Iron Lady (2011) – Meryl Streep
- In Search of La Che (2011) – Steve Nallon
- Back in Business (2007) – Caroline Bernstein
- I Am Bob (2007) – Caroline Bernstein
- For Your Eyes Only (1981) – Janet Brown
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery – (mentioned only)
- When Harvey Met Bob (2010) – Ingrid Craigie
- The Queen (2009) – Lesley Manville
- Margaret (2009) – Lindsay Duncan
- The Long Walk to Finchley (2008) – Andrea Riseborough
- Coup! (2006) – Caroline Blakiston
- The Line of Beauty (2006) – Kika Markham
- Pinochet in Suburbia (2006) – Anna Massey
- The Alan Clark Diaries (2004) – Louise Gold
- The Falklands Play (2002) – Patricia Hodge
- Deutschlandspiel (2000) (TV) – Nicole Heesters
- The Final Cut (1995) – funeral and memorial statue depicted.
- Thatcher: The Final Days (1991) – Sylvia Syms
- House of Cards (1990) – which began with a fictional successor after Thatcher's resignation in 1990.
- About Face (1989) – Maureen Lipman
- First Among Equals (1986) – Hilary Turner
- Billy Elliot the Musical (2005) contains the song Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher by Elton John
- Market Boy (2006) – set in a marketplace in 1980s Romford, a character called "Posh Lady" is meant to resemble Thatcher. When the play debuted at the National Theatre in London, she was played by Nicola Blackwell
- The Death of Margaret Thatcher (2008) – Thatcher's coffin is onstage throughout the play, which deals with the cast's differing reactions to her death
- Handbagged (2010) – a play shown at the Tricycle Theatre in London as part of its Women, Power and Politics festival. Handbagged examined the relationship between Thatcher and the Queen. The younger Mrs Thatcher was portrayed by Claire Cox and the elder by Stella Gonet. Handbagged was later expanded by its writer Moira Buffini and presented as a full play at the Tricycle in late 2013. The director was Indhu Rubasingham
- Little Madam – a play by James Graham, exploring the life and career of Mrs Thatcher, presented at the Finborough Theatre, London
- Thatcher – The Musical!
- The Audience (2013, played in the premiere production by Haydn Gwynne)
- Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho (2013–present) A drag comedy musical play imagining what life would have been like if Margaret Thatcher had got lost in Soho on the eve of the vote for section 28. It was performed in December 2013 at Theatre503 in London, in August 2014 at the Edinburgh Fringe and is transferring to London once again in March 2015 at the Leicester Square Theatre. 
- The Iron Lady (1979) – Janet Brown (satirical album written by Private Eye's John Wells)
- Saturday Night Live (1979, 1982, 1988) – Michael Palin, Mary Gross and John Lithgow
- Anyone for Denis? (1982) – Angela Thorne
- Yes Minister (1984) – herself (a short sketch, on 20 January 1984, at an award ceremony for the writers, commemorated on a Private Eye cover)
- Spitting Image (passim) – voiced by Steve Nallon; the show rounded off one season with a puppet of Thatcher singing My Way word-for-word.
- The New Statesman (1987–1990) – Steve Nallon
- Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol (1988) – The Character of Helen A is a caricature of Margaret Thatcher.
- KYTV (1989) – Steve Nallon
- Dunrulin (1990) – Angela Thorne
- The Comic Strip Presents... (1990 and 1992) – Jennifer Saunders
- Jeffrey Archer: The Truth (2002) – Greta Scacchi
- The Hunt for Tony Blair (2011) – Jennifer Saunders
- Neocolonialism (game) (2013) – Thatcher is quoted in the main menu, and sometimes appears as a computer player.
- The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
- Alan Clark Diaries: Volume 2: Into Politics 1972–1982 by Alan Clark (2000)
- Icon by Frederick Forsyth (1997)
- A Heart So White by Javier Marías (1995). The novel's hero, an interpreter at a long conversation between Thatcher and a Spanish politician. Thatcher refers to the play Macbeth, from which the novel's title derives.
- The Fist of God by Frederick Forsyth (1994)
- Alan Clark Diaries: Volume 1: In Power 1983–1992 by Alan Clark (1993)
- A Little Bit of Sunshine by Frederick Forsyth (1991)
- The Negotiator by Frederick Forsyth (1989)
- The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth (1984)
- First Among Equals by Jeffrey Archer (1984)
- The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth (1979), in which the character of the British Prime Minister Joan Carpenter is based on Thatcher
- Miracleman: Olympus by Alan Moore and John Totleben (1989). Thatcher appears as Prime Minister who is intimidated by the Miracleman Family to comply with their fascist government.
- The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – August 6th 1983 (2014) A short story by Hilary Mantel.
While in power, Thatcher was the subject of several songs which opposed her government, including The Beat's "Stand Down Margaret", as well as a sarcastic declaration of faux adoration (Notsensibles' "I'm in Love with Margaret Thatcher"). After she left government, several songs called for her death or looked forward to celebration of her death, including Morrissey's "Margaret on the Guillotine" ("The kind people have a wonderful dream, Margaret on the guillotine"), Elvis Costello's "Tramp the Dirt Down" ("I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down"), Hefner's "The Day That Thatcher Dies" ("We will dance and sing all night") and Pete Wylie's "The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies" ("She's gone!, And nobody cries"). The song "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead", from The Wizard of Oz, rose to #2 in the UK singles chart after Thatcher died.
Songs with Thatcher as the subject include:
- "All My Trials" by Paul McCartney.
- "Margaret on the Guillotine" (song from Morrissey's album Viva Hate)
- "Stand Down Margaret" by The Beat
- "The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies" by Pete Wylie
- "The Day That Thatcher Dies" by Hefner
- "Tramp the Dirt Down" by Elvis Costello
- "I'm There!" by Janet Brown
- "Wallflowers" by MC Frontalot
- "Margaret" by Russian band Electroforez
- "Ronnie And Mags" by NOFX
- "Miss Maggie" by Renaud
- "Madame Medusa" by UB40
- "Maggie" by The Exploited
- "The Grocer" by Ewan MacColl
- "I'm in love with Margaret Thatcher by Notsensibles (one of the more sympathetic depictions of Thatcher in popular music)
- "Maggie's Farm" by The Blues Band
- "Thatcher's Fortress" by The Varukers
- "Maggie Maggie Maggie (Out Out Out)" by The Larks
- "Margaret's Injection" by Kitchens of Distinction
- "Thatcher Fucked the Kids" by Frank Turner
Roger Waters in 1983 referred to Thatcher disrespectfully as "Maggie" multiple times throughout the Pink Floyd album The Final Cut. In the song The Fletcher Memorial Home Waters calls "Maggie" an overgrown infant and an incurable tyrant. At the end of the song he quietly speaks of applying the final solution to her and other famous world leaders. The band Genesis in 1986 utilized a puppet representing her (as well as other politicians) in the music video: Land of Confusion from the album Invisible Touch. French singer Renaud ("Miss Maggie, 1985").
Thatcher was the subject or the inspiration for several protest songs. Paul Weller was a founding member of Red Wedge collective, which unsuccessfully sought to oust Thatcher with the help of music. In 1987, they organised a comedy tour with British comedians Lenny Henry, Ben Elton, Robbie Coltrane, Harry Enfield and others.
- ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN (April 8, 2013). "Margaret Thatcher in pop culture: A Scrooge with all the power and no midnight conversion". The Globe and Mail.
- KEN SWEENEY (9 April 2013). "Everyone cheered when she quit". Evening Herald (Dublin).
- Music Blog (8 April 2013). "Five songs about Margaret Thatcher". The Guardian.
- "YouGov / Sunday Times Survey Results" (PDF). YouGov.
- Kassam, Raheem. "MARGARET THATCHER STILL NUMBER 1 IN POLL OF BRITISH MPS". Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- Reynolds, Gillian (30 November 2009). "A Family Affair (Radio 4): a Lovable, impossible and ingenious portrait of Mrs T – review". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- Eggers, Dave (2004) "And Now, a Less Informed Opinion", SPIN, October 2004, p. 66-8
- Shennan, Paddy (2008) "Why the hatchets are out for an old enemy", Liverpool Echo, 24 September 2008, retrieved 2012-03-28
- "Paul's Song Rips Thatcher", Chicago Sun-Times, 27 November 1990, p. 20
- Goddard, Simon (2009) Mozipedia, Ebury Press, ISBN 978-0091927097, p. 249
- Gundersen, Edna (16 April 2013). "I'm There song reissue mocks Margaret Thatcher on day of funeral". USA Today. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Lewis, Randy (16 April 2013). "Album skewering Margaret Thatcher to be reissued on April 17". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- www,antiwarsongs.org ‘’Canzoni contro la Guerra’’: “The Fletcher Memorial Home” . Accessed June 25, 2012.
- Library of Congress LCCN: The final cut. Pink Floyd. LC control no. 93711744. Music Sound Recording. Publisher no. QC38243 Columbia. Rock music—1981–1990..
- Library of Congress LCCN: Invisible touch. Genesis. LC control no. 91758551. Music Sound Recording. Publisher no. 81641-1-E Atlantic/7 81641-1-E Atlantic. Rock music—1981–1990..
- Heard, Chris (4 May 2004). "Rocking against Thatcher". BBC News.